Agricultural Burning Q&A
For Agricultural Burning Information: (805) 662-6960
For Agricultural Burn Status: (805) 654-2807
Ventura County is an agricultural community, and
as such, burn days are a reality here. Authorized by state
legislation, the APCD must allow, but may regulate,
agricultural burn days. In Ventura County there are
approximately 350 permitted burns each year, disposing about
50,000 tons of material.
Our goal is to pick
appropriate days for burning to avoid public health
problems. In our effort to regulate agricultural burning and
protect public health we try to pick days and time periods
that will maximize smoke dispersion. We even restrict the
amount of agricultural material that can be burned. Prior to
designating a burn day and time period the APCD coordinates
our efforts with the Ventura County Fire and the California
Air Resources Board. The
Agricultural Burning Forecast for
all six county areas is updated at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
daily. A map of the County’s six burn regions can be found
on the Agricultural Burning Forecast page.
Agricultural burning is any outdoor fire used in
agricultural operations for growing crops, raising fowl or
animals. Agricultural waste is unwanted plant material
produced wholly from agricultural operations such as:
- Trees and tree trimmings
- Grass, weeds and trimmings from windbreaks in or
adjacent to fields in cultivation or being prepared for
- Vegetation being cleared from presently uncultivated
or ungrazed land to establish an agricultural operation
All plant material burned must be related to
the agricultural operation. Trash may never be burned.
If it didn’t grow on your property, you can’t burn it.
Clearing agricultural land for the purpose of
non-agricultural development or for fire hazard clearance is
not considered agricultural burning and not allowed with an
agricultural burn permit. Refer to APCD
Rule 56, Open Burning, for specific details. Click here
for a copy of
Burn permits are available from the Ventura County Fire
station closest to the burn location. VC Fire will inspect
your agricultural waste piles for fire safety and compliance
with APCD Rule 56. It is illegal to conduct any type of
agricultural burn without a permit. (California Health &
Safety Code Section 41852)
an illegal burn will receive a Notice of Violation and is
subject to a fine or referral to the District Attorney’s
office for prosecution. Additional fees could include
fire suppression costs.
You must include the
number, size and approximate weight of the piles, and number
of acres cleared. (A burn tonnage calculation formula is on
the reverse side of the permit.) You must also include the
burn location and cell phone number of the on-site person.
No more than 300 tons-per-day may be burned. Report the
tons burned after each burn day to APCD at (805) 662-6960.
Burn regions within Ventura County
Coastal shore and coastal plain (Ventura/Oxnard/Camarillo)
2. Ojai Valley & surrounding rural areas
3. Santa Clara
River Valley from Santa Paula to Piru
4. Simi Valley &
5. Conejo Valley (Thousand Oaks & Newbury Park)
6. Northern Ventura County, primarily area of Los Padres
For planning purposes, a “Burn
Day” or “No Burn Day” designation is provided twice daily -
- at 8:30 a.m. & 4:30 p.m.
There are three burn periods during the day (1)
morning, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. (2) Late Morning, 10 a.m. to
Noon, (3) & Afternoon, Noon to 4 p.m.
To access the
burn day designation
- Call the APCD burn line at 654-2807 for recorded
- Call 662-6960 for notification via fax or email
- Check for Burn/No Burn days on this website
Once you’ve received a permit and a burn day is declared,
notify the local VC Fire Station of your proposed burn. Only
devices approved by VC Fire may be used to ignite the
material. APCD meteorologists designate burn days by
predicting weather conditions. They watch for specific
weather patterns that provide the best conditions for smoke
dispersal. Smoke must rise high in the atmosphere and spread
out, not stay close to the ground. Depending upon these
conditions, APCD may declare partial burn days in one or
more regions while other regions may not be allowed to burn.
Burns are not allowed during the following conditions:
ground fog, low coastal clouds, stagnant air conditions,
during the Santa Ana winds, anytime smoke stays on the
ground, or if there are too many burns in one area.
Moist or “green” wood or vegetation produces too much smoke
and burns slower than dry wood. Therefore, all materials
must be dry before burning. You may only burn materials
grown on the property. Stack or arrange the material
allowing for maximum air circulation, easy combustion and
minimal smoke emissions. Smoldering fires must be mixed,
stirred or condensed when safe and practical.
Minimum drying times
branches exceeding 3” in diameter
small branches & other vegetation 3” or less in
Longer drying times may be needed due to material density
and/or time of year.
Calculate the tonnage of material by taking the acreage and
multiplying by the tons/acre factor listed in the tables
||for 10 acres of citrus orchard removed
(10 acres) x (30 tons/acre) = 300 tons of burn material
The following tables list factors to be used when
calculating tonnage of agricultural waste, and for range
improvement and weed abatement (Source: Cal EPA, Air
Resources Board, 1994). These factors assume the burn
material is dry.
|Brush and Grass
||Ditchbank and Canal
|Slash (Forest Improvement)
Do not use tires, tarpaper, plastics, oils or other
similar materials to ignite piles
Ignite the material as rapidly as possible following
appropriate fire safety rules
Ignite one pile and wait 30 minutes to determine smoke
direction & ash travel
Know where the smoke is traveling – do not burn if smoke
is staying close to the ground or moving toward populated
areas, especially schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
If smoke direction and ash travel conditions are met,
On the day of the burn, you must have your burn permit &
cell phone at the burn site. You must also comply with all
restrictions noted on the permit. You may not burn if the
date on the permit has expired. Agricultural burning is not
permitted on Sundays, Holidays, or Holiday weekends. If you
have any questions call (805) 662-6960.